Real Estate in Boise, Meridian, Nampa
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Jennifer Louis
Residential Real Estate Expert
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Differences Between Real Estate Teams and Independent Agents

When it comes to buying or selling your home, the choice between working with a real estate team or an independent/single agent is a significant decision. Each option offers its unique strengths, but many clients have discovered the exceptional benefits of choosing an independent agent. In this post, we’ll explore the differences between these two approaches while shining a spotlight on the many positive benefits of Independent Real Estate Agents vs. Teams

Overall Experience

Independent/Single Agent: Independent agents offer a truly personalized experience. They focus exclusively on your needs and goals, tailoring their approach to match your unique preferences. With an independent agent, you’re not just a client; you’re a valued partner receiving individualized attention that ensures your real estate journey aligns perfectly with your vision.

Real Estate Team: Real estate teams, while diverse in skills, may distribute their attention across multiple clients. This can lead to a more generalized approach, making it challenging to receive the same level of personalization and tailored guidance that an independent agent provides.

In-Depth Knowledge and Dedication

Independent/Single Agent: Independent agents are known for their depth of knowledge and unwavering dedication. Their years of experience have honed their skills, making them true experts in their field. With an independent agent, you can trust that your transaction is guided by an individual who is fully committed to achieving the best results for you.

Real Estate Team: Real estate teams offer a collective expertise, but this can sometimes result in a more divided dedication. Team members may split their focus across various aspects of the transaction, potentially diluting the level of specialized knowledge and commitment an independent agent can provide.

Direct and Open Communication

Independent/Single Agent: Independent agents prioritize direct, transparent, and open communication. They serve as your primary point of contact, ensuring that you receive prompt responses and clear updates at every stage of the process. This straightforward communication style fosters a stronger client-agent relationship.

Real Estate Team: Real estate teams may involve multiple layers of communication, potentially leading to delays and misunderstandings. Navigating a team’s hierarchy to get answers or updates can sometimes complicate the client-agent interaction and result in less direct communication.

Personal Accountability

Independent/Single Agent: Independent agents take personal accountability for your satisfaction and success. They view your objectives as their own, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome. With an independent agent, you can rest assured that your agent is fully responsible for ensuring your interests are protected and advanced.

Real Estate Team: Accountability within real estate teams can be distributed among team members, making it challenging to pinpoint individual responsibility. While team collaboration has its advantages, it can also lead to less clear-cut accountability compared to the personalized commitment of an independent agent.

Streamlined Decision-Making

Independent/Single Agent: Independent agents empower you with swift decision-making. You won’t encounter delays or complications due to multiple layers of team coordination. Your agent is equipped to make decisions promptly, ensuring a smooth and efficient transaction process.

Real Estate Team: Real estate teams may require additional steps for decision-making, involving multiple team members and approvals. This can potentially slow down the process, leading to longer wait times and a less streamlined experience compared to working with an independent agent.

Local Connections and Relationships

Independent/Single Agent:  Don’t be misled by the title “Independent or Single Agent” Most agents with experience are working with a network of individuals and companies that make each one of their client’s transactions seamless.  For example, they often have well-established, long-lasting relationships with local service providers, from lenders to inspectors and contractors. These connections can benefit you, as your agent can connect you with trusted professionals who can expedite the transaction and ensure its success.  Your Independent Agent may also have a licensed or unlicensed real estate Assistant, or a Transaction Coordinator to assist with ensuring the legal documents are executed on time and correctly.  Also, it’s imperative to mention that every Agent works under a Broker (unless they are a Broker themselves) and has direct access to the Designated Broker’s input on important, key processes and issues that may come up in a transaction.

Real Estate Team: Teams also have a large network of resources to provide to their clients and may have more choices for their clients to choose from when it comes to subcontractors, but most real estate teams are loyal to the same lender, title company, and inspector due to the number of transactions they handle and in order to streamline their process.

In summary, independent agents shine in their ability to provide a highly personalized, knowledgeable, and accountable real estate experience. While real estate teams offer a collective approach, working with an independent agent often leads to a more tailored, efficient, and client-centered journey, ensuring that your specific needs and goals are met with precision and dedication.  The above-mentioned are just some of the benefits of working with an Independent Real Estate Agent vs a team. Choosing the right agent ultimately comes down to your priorities and the kind of experience you seek on your real estate journey.

Whichever path you decide to take, remember that the key to a successful real estate transaction lies in finding a qualified and trustworthy professional who understands and prioritizes your goals.


Boise Real Estate ProfessionalIf you are considering buying or selling a home  I offer a free, no-obligation consultation and will help you start the home-buying process in Boise.  In the meantime, make sure to follow me,  Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert, and local relocation guide on Instagram, Facebook, or my blog for fun facts about Boise and of course a few things real estate.  (208) 509-9122 or

Reality of Renting vs Buying in Boise in 2023

Reality of Renting vs Buying in Boise in 2023

Is It Better to Rent or Buy in 2023?

Boise’s home prices have gone up substantially over the past several years, but the same can be said for the going rental rate in Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley.  With mortgage interest rates higher than they have been in years many renters have shied away from the idea of purchasing a home, feeling it is out of reach, but is it?  There are advantages to renting and buying depending on each individual/family’s circumstances.  This article is to demonstrate the facts of what renting in Boise looks like in 2023 and the years to come vs what buying in the present market could mean.  Let’s take a realistic look at renting vs buying in Boise in 2023.

Boise’s Rental Market

Renting vs Buying BoiseThere are a number of reasons an individual or a family decides to rent a home or apartment.  Some, are only in Boise temporarily and need housing for only a year or two.  It could be they are still in College and don’t have any credit built up or funds needed to purchase a home and renting is a more realistic option.  It could also be they just moved here from out of State and want to get a better feel for the area before committing to buying a home.  There are also those that believe that buying a home is just not possible after watching home prices go up year after year in and around Boise.  Whatever the reason renters all face the same struggle when looking for a home or apartment to rent in Boise, low inventory.  This means there are actually fewer places to rent than renters seeking a place to call home.  The supply vs demand has driven up the prices in Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley over the past few years making renting more challenging than in the past.

According to Zillow the average price of a rental in Boise is $1850/month.  A single-family home in Boise with a yard and 3 bedrooms/2 baths are renting anywhere from $2,000-$4,000/month depending on size and location.  There are over 1/3 of the rentals in Boise are priced at $2100/month or higher.  In Idaho, according to Zillow rents in Idaho have increased by over 40%  in the past three years. That ranks Idaho fourth in the nation for the biggest increase in that span, and this includes the slight decrease in rent we saw at the start of 2023.

If you take the average cost of rent, $1850 X 12, renters can expect to pay over $22,000/annually.  If a renter can afford to rent in Boise the next step is to find a place to rent and that has become even more challenging.  The most sought-after rentals tend to be single-family homes with yards, but they are not only priced at a premium, but they go quickly, so renters may have to fill out multiple rental applications before finally getting a lease.  The other challenge faced by renters in Boise over the past few years is having located a single-family home to rent and finding out that the owner is planning to sell the property.  This can mean the lease won’t be renewed by the new owners or if it is it could have new terms or a higher monthly rent when the new owners take over and negotiate the terms of a lease renewal.

U.S. renters will continue to face challenges from limited supply and excess demand in the coming year that will keep upward pressure on rent growth. At a national level, we forecast rent growth of 6.3% in the next 12 months, somewhat ahead of home price growth and historical rent trends according to’s annual housing forecast for 2023.

Buying a Home in Boise

Buying vs Renting BoiseFor those looking to make a Boise home on a more permanent basis, buying is a more popular option, but there are challenges as well.  First, home prices have gone up substantially over the past five years in the Treasure Valley, and with higher interest rates we are now seeing some potential buyers priced out of the market. The median price of a home in Ada County is around $490,000, coupled with interest rates hovering around 7% many have backed away from buying a home and are waiting until rates come back down.  There are also those who would like to buy, but don’t have high enough credit or long enough employment history to qualify for a loan on a home.

With that said, those who are able to purchase a home, even with the higher rates are almost always better off than renting.  The monthly payment may be slightly higher compared to renting, but home prices are also increasing making the home more valuable.  Instead of spending over $22,000/annually that a renter will never see again, a homeowner may be spending $30,000, but with a return on their investment.  According to a recent article from home prices are growing at an average of 5.4% annually. That’s about $25,000 worth of equity annually.

The median price may be close to $500K, but in Boise you can still find homes under $400,000 with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.  If you are willing to take one bathroom and maybe give up the garage you can find even better deals.  Click here for some of the great deals in Boise that make buying a home affordable.  If you go to Canyon County such as Nampa or Caldwell the prices go down lower.  I just recently helped two families get into homes under $350K.  Take a look for yourself at what is available in Canyon County.   Buyers should also remember that your first house doesn’t mean your forever home.  Buying a home, making improvements, and then reselling a few years later is a great way to get the $$$ to buy the home you really want.  

It’s also important to mention the tax advantages that come with owning a home in Boise, Idaho.  Homeowners can take advantage of mortgage interest deductions from the Federal Government which can significantly reduce an individual’s income tax liability. This can potentially save a homeowner thousands of dollars annually.


The Bottom-Line

Buy vs Rent in BoiseThe Bottom-line is, it really depends on a person’s short and long-term goals before deciding to rent vs buy a home.  For many, in the short-term renting may make more sense for the reasons mentioned earlier in this article, but in the long-term buying a home in Boise in most cases makes more financial sense.

There are challenges that come with buying a home, such as qualifying for a loan, the higher monthly cost in some cases, and the costs associated with maintaining a home but owning real estate is one of the best ways to get out of debt and start saving money.  No one should buy a home that they can’t afford or that would cause great financial strain, but there are so many creative ways to buy a home and make it affordable.

For example, I recently worked with two couples that are related and decided to purchase a home together.  They took what they were each paying in rent per month and combined that amount towards a monthly loan payment on a brand new home and ended up paying slightly less than they were renting combined.  The home they purchased had two levels and they converted the upstairs into a completely separate living space with its own kitchen and living room.  They share the yard, garage, and entry areas, but now both families are comfortably living in a beautiful new home.

Another example is that of a first-time home buyer that had rented for years.  They were able to qualify for an FHA loan and IHFA loans getting their interest down by over a percent.  This allowed them to increase what they could afford monthly and get them into a home.  They had almost no money for their down payment and closing costs and we negotiated with the seller to pay the majority of their closing costs.  Now they own a lovely home, with a yard and garage and are slowly building equity.  They are paying just slightly higher than what they were paying in rent, but now they know what their monthly payments are for the life of their loan.  No drastic rent increases, and they are building equity.

Start The Home Buying Process Now

Even if home buying is not immediately in your future it’s important to start the process sooner than later.  The interest rates will come back down and that means that home prices will go back up.  Boise still remains a very desirable place to live and so it is key for those considering buying a home one day to start the process of getting qualified for a loan now.  Check with a local lender to find out what is needed to qualify for a home you would like to purchase.  In some cases, you can start shopping right away, but for others, it may take several months to repair credit scores, save for a down payment or pay down debt.  Many individuals and families I have represented to buy a home didn’t think it was possible when we first started talking only to find out that buying a home here was within their reach.

Let’s start the conversation today and help you find discover if your reality is renting or buying a home in Boise in 2023 or soon after.


Boise Real Estate ProfessionalIf you are considering buying or selling a home  I offer a free, no-obligation consultation and will help you start the home buying process in Boise.  In the meantime, make sure to follow me,  Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert, and local relocation guide on Instagram, Facebook, or my blog for fun facts about Boise and of course a few things real estate.  (208) 509-9122 or

May 2023 Boise Market Trends

May 2023 Boise Market Trends

The heat has turned up in Boise and it’s hitting the real estate market too!  We’ve seen a surge of home buyers entering the market, despite the higher interest rates.  As homes trickle on to the market they are getting snapped up quicker than in the past year and we’ve also seen an up tick of homes selling at full price or over asking price compared to the past 12 months. The hotter real estate trend in Boise continues all Summer

The Facts Year-to-Date


May 2023 Market Trends<br />
Canyon County Market Trends may 2023

In April the median sales price in Ada and Canyon Counties bumped significantly from last month, but overall are still down from a year ago.  As a reminder, it was at the end of April/May that home prices started to decline in 2022. In March the median price in Ada County was $480,000 and in April it increased to over $517,000.  In Canyon County, the median price last month was $380,000 and in April it increased to $390,000.  The market is definitely hotter than it was just a couple of months ago and although there is more inventory than we’ve had in the past, we still have a supply/demand issue which is what is pushing the market upwards.  As a reminder a healthy market has six plus months of inventory, as you can see from the charts below we have about a 1.5-month supply, so even though inventory is higher compared to the previous year, it’s still very low supply.  The number of homes for sale is around half of what it was six months ago.  With the increase in interest rates, some homeowners have held off selling their homes, not wanting to lose the interest rate they currently have which in many cases was locked in significantly lower than the rates today. With fewer homes on the market and more buyers we start to see homes sell closer to asking price and/or over asking price and a hotter real estate trend in Boise continues this Summer.

Here is a chart for Ada County and Canyon County’s market statistics compared to the same time last year:

April Trends Ada County April Trends Canyon County

If we compare the median price, days on the market, and inventory you will see we are still not where we were a year ago, but compared with last month we can see things have jumped.  For example, last month the days on the market in Ada County was 72, and in April it was 55.  In Canyon County, the days on the market actually increased from 59 days in March to 68 days in April.  Canyon County is where we have a lot of new construction and that can affect the days on the market based on if a home has delays to finish construction and close.

Another new trend is the increase in cash buyers.  For the past 12 months, we saw a significant decline in the number of homes being purchased with all cash.  That was mostly due to the fact investors pulled back last year with the market shift as home prices fluctuated. For investors that remodel/flipped homes buying in a down-turning market didn’t make sense and many pulled out of the market.  However, in April 24% of the homes that sold in Ada County sold for cash, a significant increase from the past several months.  The same for Canyon County.  Investors are back looking for homes to fix up and rent or flip.  Additionally, as the markets in other states started to move many homeowners were finally able to sell their homes and use the cash equity to purchase here.

What to Expect for the Remainder of 2023

Even with the increase in mortgage interest rates we will most likely see home prices remain stable and increase slightly through Summer.  For May/June things may slow a bit as kids get out of school and vacations start happening.  After July 4th we usually see an uptick in buyers out shopping and this will keep the market moving.  Rent prices continue to increase throughout the Valley and this is also pushing locals that have been renting to consider homeownership as a valid option now.  In many cases, buyers can purchase a home and keep their monthly payment close to what they would pay in rent, which in the long term makes more sense financially.  We can expect that real estate will be hotter in Boise and continue through Summer

Should I Sell/Buy Now or Wait?

If you are looking to sell your home, now is still a great time.  Buyers are out shopping again and homes that are priced right, and marketed correctly are still selling under the average days on the market.  It’s important though if selling to keep your expectations realistic.  Homes, unless they are priced under market value, are typically taking 30+ days to get an offer on them.  Homes selling on a weekend are far and few between these days.  Additionally, getting the home market ready is more important now than ever.  With more homes on the market than in the past, buyers have more time to scrutinize before making an offer.  And buyers are asking for more repairs and credits for repairs or closing costs (buyer concessions) than in previous years.

It’s imperative to talk to a real estate professional who understands the market you are buying and selling in to truly understand the best timing to sell and buy.  There are a lot of opinions out there on the Internet, or even trusted friends, colleagues, and family, but unless it’s coming from someone with the pulse on the market you are dealing in, you might be getting the wrong data and that could potentially cost you thousands.  Set an appointment today to understand the market trends in Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley.

With rent prices going up local buyers should seriously consider buying a home versus renting.  There are places in the US where it makes more sense to rent than to buy, but the Treasure Valley, unfortunately, has limited housing and has forced rent prices up.  For first-time home buyers Idaho has some great options to assist with down payment and closing costs don’t forget, even though the market is picking up, you can still negotiate with the seller to have them help with closing costs or even buying down the interest rate to get you a lower monthly payment. Also, it was just recently announced that those who qualify for FHA loans can save thousands over the course of their loan.  I’ve just helped several first-time home buyers get fantastic deals on their homes in the Valley and are paying close to if not less than what they were renting for.

Schedule Your Consultation

Whether you are buying or selling consult first with a professional that understands this market and the best way to succeed.  Schedule a 30-minute no-obligation consultation with Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Area Real Estate Expert at (208) 509-9122 or

Bolder Buyers in 2023 Market

Bolder Buyers in 2023 Market

Bolder Buyers in 2023

During the home-buying frenzy during and post-COVID, many homebuyers were opting not to have a traditional home inspection, buying the home in as-is condition to make their offer more appealing in a multiple-offer situation.  Now, as the market has shifted, home buyers have become bolder and are asking for more repairs in 2023.  If you are considering selling your home, be prepared for a list of repair requests or a credit request towards repairs and plan how to respond accordingly.  Here are some things you might see on an inspection contingency response form from the buyer asking for more repairs when selling your home and what you can do to prepare now:

Safety/High-Price Items

Buyers ask for more repairs in 2023These are items that could potentially cause a safety issue to the home such as faulty wiring, gas leak, roof issues, sick/dying trees close to homes or repairs that could potentially cost over $1000 to repair such as HVAC, roof, plumbing, mold remediation, electrical, foundation issues and sewer line pipe cracks, etc.  Most homeowners if aware of these issues would most likely take care of any of the above issues if it was brought to their attention so it is reasonable for buyers to want these items repaired as well.  The only exception would be if a homeowner was aware of a high price item before listing and discloses it to the potential buyer and prices the home accordingly.

Honey-Do List

Home inspectors typically have a 2000+ checklist of items to inspect during a home inspection.  Even if you maintain your home a home inspector WILL find things that need to be repaired.  If the repairable items don’t belong in the safety/high-price item category, then they fall in the smaller repair or “honey do” list. This could range from cosmetic issues such as a window missing a screen, electrical outlets are not grounded (for older homes), paint chips, loose door handles, small leaks in showers, clogged gutters, and the list goes on.

In today’s market, most sellers are willing to negotiate with buyers for the requested repairs rather than risk having to put the home back on the market.  We are starting to see more multiple-offer situations in the Bench area, however, if an issue comes up on one inspection report and the seller and buyer can’t come to an agreement regarding repairs, most likely the same issue will come up with a different buyer.  In many cases, if the repairs are reasonable the seller may opt to either repair or give a credit and move on.

Pre-Inspect Before Selling

Buyers asking for repairs

If you’re considering selling and think there could be some potential safety or high-price items, you may want to have the home pre-inspected by a home inspector.  This gives you time to get those items repaired before going on the market, However, you should be aware that once you know the issues, they will need to be either repaired or disclosed to potential buyers.

If you opt not to get a pre-inspection it’s still recommended for anyone selling their home to get their HVAC serviced and make sure the licensed HVAC company puts a dated sticker on the unit showing it’s been serviced.  Almost 90% of the time HVAC units older than 5 years will be called out by the inspector, whether they are functioning properly or not to be checked out and serviced by a HVAC specialist.  If you do it before listing the home you can avoid the buyer asking for that repair or service. Additional things you can do yourself for example are: clean your gutters, trim branches near home, remove debris from the crawl space, and fix any minor leaks or loose fixtures, and faucets.

I typically give my clients a checklist of items to look over before listing so that there aren’t too many surprises going forward.  Going through your home with a checklist of items to repair & take care of them before selling will save you time and money during the buyer’s inspection window.

Another important factor to consider is if your buyers are using financing to purchase the home.  Certain loan types have stricter guidelines and require certain items to be repaired before the loan can go forward.  For example, FHA Loans in 2023 require the following items are all functioning properties:

  • Sanitary facilities which include functional sewage systems.
  • Proper heating and ventilation.
  • Temperature-controlled heating system.
  • Hot water.
  • Properly working electrical and plumbing and safe drinking water.
  • No paint chipping on the exterior and interior.

The same goes for VA Loans and appraisers for Conventional loans can at times be picky about certain high-price items like roofs or HVACS.  If you feel you have some issues in those areas repair them ahead of time, or look for cash or conventional loan buyers only.

Factor In a Credit in Your Sales Price

Buyers Ask for more repairs in 2023In today’s market, it is almost inevitable that the buyer will ask for a repair, service, or credit during their inspection window.  As mentioned previously taking care of some of the items that may come up beforehand could save you time, money, and the headache of negotiating with a buyer in a short time window, however, expect there to be some unknowns that pop up on the inspection report, or that the buyer may ask you to cough up some dough towards closing costs.  Your agent will tell you during the listing appointment what to expect for your area and the potential costs that an inspection may bring.

If you know there could be some cost up front you may want to factor that into the sales price.  If there is the potential for many repairs then price the home lower to account for those repairs and let potential buyers know this.  Additionally, most savvy agents will know the home is priced competitively and will encourage their buyers to be more reasonable in their requests accordingly.  If you have had the home pre-inspected and took care of needed repairs up front then you can feel more assured that the inspection won’t be an issue and the costs or repairs requested should be minimal.

The key is to keep your cool during the inspection window and lean on your agent to give you good guidance on how to respond to buyer requests for repairs or credits.  Once you are past the inspection window you can take a deep breath and know the main hurdle to a real estate transaction closing is finished.  The next step will be the appraisal and financing contingency if the buyer is using a conventional loan or if it’s cash, you can start packing and counting down the days to closing.

Find An Agent With Negotiating Skills

As mentioned the inspection window is one of the most crucial pieces to getting your home sold.  During the buyer’s inspection window emotions can run high if sellers feel buyers are asking for unreasonable repairs or credit requests.  Buyers may feel scared by the findings on the inspection report and in some cases opt to walk away rather than negotiate repairs with the seller.  It’s IMPERATIVE to hire a real estate agent that knows how to guide you as a seller (and a buyer) through this process and get you to the closing table.

I have helped numerous sellers to get their homes prepared for the market and take care of items before they come up on the inspection.  I also prepare my clients for the items that will come up and help them to see which ones are reasonable, unreasonable, and negotiable.  Additionally, if some repairs are needed I have a network of very reliable, affordable, and qualified contractors to get the repairs done in a timely fashion.  Not all agents have this network so it’s important to find one who does.

Here’s an actual example of what a skilled agent can provide you with if a major repair request comes up.  A couple of years ago I helped a lovely, elderly couple sell their home of 35 years.  We went through the home thoroughly, but they did not have it pre-inspected.  During the inspection, the buyer’s home inspector found that a vent from the bathroom wasn’t vented properly and was sending steam into the attic for some time which led to extensive mold in the attic.  The inspector also called out that the electrical system wasn’t grounded and had two prong outlets (which is still to code for homes built during this period).  The Buyer’s Agent brought in a mold specialist and they quoted over $13,000 for the mold remediation.  The buyer also wanted the electrical system upgraded throughout the 1600sqft house which would have entailed tearing out drywall, patching, painting, and the works, the estimated cost would be $22,000.

I brought in my own mold specialist who is a licensed and certified mold remediation specialist, but doesn’t charge for services not needed.  Additionally, he offers a guarantee and he quoted $7000 for the same remediation job.  I went back to one of my previous offers and signed them as a backup offer.  The current buyer wouldn’t budge on the electrical because his agent didn’t explain that for a mid-century home, it was acceptable to have two-prong outlets.  The buyer backed out, the new buyer immediately went under contract.  My clients remediated the mold, provided the guarantee to the new buyer and we closed even earlier than planned with buyer 1.  I saved my clients $6,000 and the potential issue with the electrical and got their home sold.  They had to remediate the mold either way because that is considered a safety issue, but the electrical wasn’t an actual issue, just a nice upgrade the buyer was after.  The new buyer and his agent understood this and everyone arrived at the closing table happy.

Boise Real Estate ProfessionalIf you are considering buying or selling a home  I offer a free, no-obligation consultation and will help you know the best way to prepare your home for the market.  In the meantime, make sure to follow me,  Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert, and local relocation guide on Instagram, Facebook, or my blog for fun facts about Boise and of course a few things real estate.  (208) 509-9122 or

Real Estate is Just Weird in 2023

Real Estate is Just Weird in 2023

The Weirdest Year in Real Estate

In all the years I’ve been in real estate in Idaho this has to be one of the most strange.  It doesn’t help that Winter can’t figure out that it’s Spring’s time to shine and just keeps dropping snow and breaking records all over the place, but weather aside if you are in the business of real estate, selling or buying a home or just a real estate junkie in general than you probably noticed that this industry is as wacky as the weather this year.  I’m not talking about higher interest rates, buyers’ fear of paying more, affordability, and a decrease in pricing.  No, those things aren’t what we would say is “weird” in this industry, what I’m talking about is behavior.  Yes, 2023 real estate is definitely just plain weird.

An Overview

Last Spring there was a mixed sense of hope in the air as COVID fears started to subside and the world seemed to open back up.  Real Estate seemed to be back in business with homeowners getting their homes prepped for the market, buyers filing their taxes, and getting pre-qualified for financing.  It seemed like business as usual, but then we all know about May and things shifted fast.  Homes that typically sold in less than 30 days were sitting months on the market with zero to no offers and price drops became expected.  Pricing a home seemed impossible and many buyers watched their rates go up before they could even put an offer on a home crushing the dreams of homeownership for some.

Sellers began to cancel their listings and hope for a more stable market.  Investors and home flippers quickly sold and pulled out of looking for more properties for their portfolio.  First-time home buyers didn’t know what to think and many just accepted that it was bad timing to purchase a home.  As the market continued to shift along with the rise and fall of interest rates buyers and sellers continued to wait on the sidelines unless they HAD to buy or NEEDED to sell.  By the end of the year, it felt like real estate came to a complete halt and fewer existing homes went on the market.  The builders wanting to offload their growing inventory started offering insane incentives.  Buyers still brave enough to enter the market snapped up deals left and right from builders and negotiated with homeowners getting deals that were unheard of in the Valley for the past several years.

2022 was a year of change, shifts, and a bit of a rollercoaster, but it didn’t feel weird.  Then 2023 appeared.

The Year Began Slow

January is typically a slow month in real estate in general.  The holidays are just finishing, kids and families are getting back to routines, and buying or selling a home is put off until the holiday decor starts to come down.  This year was no different, but there were mixed emotions out there.  Buyers who had waited out 2022 were ready to embrace 2023 and enter the market no matter what.  Sellers who had planned to sell the previous year, but had canceled their listing hoping for more stability started prepping their homes to sell.  Sounds normal, but there was a lot of hesitation behind those buyers and sellers it seemed, more than in the past.  The desire was there, but fear was stronger and it seemed to impact overall market behavior.  SO.MUCH.UNCERTAINTY.  This is why as we enter Spring we are seeing far fewer homes go on the market than in past years, as Sellers get cold feet.


Boise's Weird Real Estate MarketOne of the main contributors to all the “weirdness” can be attributed to the media.  The news articles coming out seem completely out of line with reality and are creating fear of real estate.  Take a few examples of recent headlines to understand what I mean:

On February 11, 2023, the Idaho Statesman wrote the following article: Boise home prices drop, and options expand as the market cools  This type of headline pushes Buyers into thinking home prices will still drop, and maybe they should wait.  At the same time, this headline came out the same time  I wrote my Market Facts Trends for March and the data was showing that home pricing was actually starting to show signs of stabilizing, not dropping.

Then on March 15, 2023, The Idaho Statesman wrote an article with the headline:  Homes in Boise stay on the market longer; prices steady.  Here one month later this article gave Sellers hope that the declining prices have possibly come to an end and that we are entering a more stable market.

Then BAM, 7 days later the Statesman published this article:  House prices declining in Boise, but still above the U.S. median.   This is just wrong.  Home prices actually did not go down compared to the month prior and you can see this in my April report showing what transpired in March in Ada and Canyon County Real Estate.

So, which is it?  Are prices dropping?  Are home prices stabilizing? Or are we heading for a crash?  Buyers and Sellers reading these headlines are confused because the media is confusing them.  So many articles have been printed since the start of the year stating the real estate market is crashing, then the same day another reputable source is saying home prices are stabilizing.  No wonder people are confused, getting cold feet, and displaying unusual behavior while dabbling in real estate.

Everyone Is a Real Estate Expert

Finally, we are seeing more and more buyers and sellers emerge, armed with media headlines, hours spent searching Zillow, and the advice of everyone they know, I call them the “Zillowites”.  The Zillowites, believing they are experts in real estate tend to lack trust in real estate professionals in general.

Knowledge when dealing with real estate is important, but as we just discussed there is a lot of information out there and not all of it is correct.  In many cases, the self-declared real estate professionals, Zillowites are harming themselves and potentially making decisions that may be quite costly.  For example, there are more first-time home buyers turning to online lenders to get pre-approvals rather than working with a trusted local lender, enticed by what sounds like lower rates. With higher interest rates it’s normal to shop around, but online lenders often have hidden fees and costs that buyers may only find out about at the closing table and in the end may be paying more for their loan than originally understood.

Take for example two well-known digital mortgage lenders, Quicken and Rocket Mortgage (owned by the same company).  It seems quick and easy, however, you might pay a bit more for that convenience when compared to other lenders. Quicken and Rocket’s interest rates tend to be higher than the industry average.  Additionally, if a borrower has dings on their credit, or is self-employed, you may easily get a pre-qualification letter from one of these lenders, but when it comes time to fund the loan borrowers may find themselves unable to get financing and lose the house they were planning to purchase.

Another trend among first-time home buyers is to shop alone.  With so many real estate reality shows, along with the ability to tour homes online and open houses, inexperienced buyers may feel they can choose their home and just get an Agent to write the contract.  For example, I recently had a Buyer tell me they prefer not to have a real estate professional with them when they view homes because they don’t want to be influenced by them.  While it is true a lot of the leg work can be done now online there is still a lot that goes into a real estate transaction that a buyer is most likely not aware of.  For example, a Buyer may like the home online, but they may not realize the home is overpriced, will most likely not pass an appraisal or their loan type won’t qualify for this property.  A buyer also isn’t privy to what comparable homes in the area are selling for, what is going on behind the walls that may be disclosed in the Agent Notes on the MLS, or the Seller’s motivation to sell.  These key facts can greatly affect the price a Seller is willing to take or what a Buyer should offer.

I’ve been witnessing buyer after buyer waiting out the market or looking for that unicorn property that is selling for far less than market value believing they are the next Chip and Joanna and will flip their own house.  The reality is, the market is stabilizing as far as price.  Boise and the surrounding area are still considered desirable and affordable for those moving here from neighboring states.  There is only a 1.5-month supply of inventory which is very low and as more buyers enter the market, looking for the most “affordable” homes or homes priced under the median price we will see more and more bidding wars and multiple offer situations.

I just wrote an offer for a client on a home in Nampa this past weekend and it was priced about $15K under the median price of that neighborhood.  They received 11 offers substantially over the median price.  Yes, bidding wars are still happening, homes under $400K are typically all getting multiple offers, and buyers who wait, believing headlines that pricing will go down will soon be priced out of the market.

There are the Sellers who have already priced their homes based on Zestimates and what their neighbor’s home down the street sold for, not realizing that many of those homes sold prices are not disclosed in Idaho and don’t account for concessions offered to buyers.   I recently took over a listing that was a For Sale By Owner.  They had it on the market for 38 days with no showings.  They priced their home based on a Zestimate and what they saw as comparable homes in their city.  As I started my research on the home I realized that they had the wrong square footage of the home noted and were off by nearly 400 sqft.  They noted certain items as working when in fact they were inoperable or didn’t exist and their price was about $100K over market value for their neighborhood.  I listed it with the correct information and a much-improved price and we had over 50 showings the first week on the market.

A Reliable Source

As a real estate expert, I have had my work cut out for me so far this year as I strive to assist buyers and sellers alike to look at real data and actual market facts/trends rather than what they believe they know.  Unlike most buyers or sellers that may be involved in one real estate transaction every 5-10 years  I do multiple transactions every month.  Real estate is my full-time job and I love it which is why I pour over the actual data and trends weekly to really understand what is happening in our market.  Even though real estate in 2023 is weird  I still love it and embrace the opportunity to learn new ways to help buyers and sellers reach their goal of either selling a home and moving on or embarking on becoming homeowners.

I recently helped two first-time home buyers get incredible deals on new construction while the incentives were still being offered.  They got the incentives and actually quite a bit more off the sales price.  Then I just helped a lovely family who had been dreaming of owning a home for years find a home within their budget.  When I met them they told me they were going to wait another year until interest rates came down, but after a little convincing, they went and saw a trusted local lender and got pre-approved for an IHFA loan and an FHA loan.  They got an incredible rate in the 5% range, plus the seller (who was quite motivated to sell) gave them money to buy down their rate and towards their closing costs.  Since their closing in February, I have not seen another home go on the market that they could afford.  They purchased a home before they were priced out of the market.

My last listing sold over the asking price in less than a week with multiple offers to choose from.  The owner had a different idea on price originally, but he trusted the data I showed him and let me stage his home which meant packing up most of his personal items and storing them in the garage.  We had over 25 people through the first day on the market and ended up with the price he originally wanted.  Not bad for a market that tended to be more in favor of buyers at that time.

Boise Real Estate ProfessionalIf you are considering buying or selling a home  I offer a free, no-obligation consultation and will leave you with the market trends for your area. In the meantime, make sure to follow me,  Jennifer Louis, Boise Metro Real Estate Expert, and local relocation guide on Instagram, Facebook, or my blog for fun facts about Boise and of course a few things real estate.  (208) 509-9122 or